I don't know whether you ever get hooked on a particular stitch, but right now I find myself immersed in the many possible variations of Abi Gregorio's Drop Stitch Cowl.
It's a really simple pattern - I've seen it repeated in lots of places - and even though it's written for super bulky yarn it's not hard to adapt it to any weight you have handy.
Service Announcement on How to Do That
Knit up a quick gauge swatch with your preferred yarn (allow about 110 grams of any weight for a 23" wide cowl) and needles
Count how many stitches it's taking you to get an inch
Multiply that by the number of inches you're after - somewhere between 20 and 24 is good, or close to double that if you want to wrap it
Go up or down one stitch if necessary to get an even number
Cast on that even number and trust that your yarn will hold out for as long as you want the cowl to be and
If you make this cowl pretty roomy, it's okay if you don't use the softest yarn in the world; it's very effective as a warm textured necklace over the collar of a blouse or even a turtleneck.
And this stitch? It's such a great showcase for yarn.
It doesn't look like much before you block it...
but afterward is another story.
In a solid, you notice the stitch.
In a stripey yarn, you maximize the impact of the stripe while introducing a ton of texture.
I mean, you've got all the little waves of garter stitch, and the
horizontal bands the garter stitch creates, and the smooth vertical
lines of the drop stitch too.
And, after you've blocked it - in a handspun yarn, WOWZA.
There are situations where it wouldn't work - a drop stitch hat would be pretty chilly I think, and a drop stitch shawl would catch on everything. Let's not even think about the cartoonish drop stitch socks that just popped into my head - those are crazypants. But a cowl? So awesome.
And so fast! Four to six hours, and you've not only got somebody's gift done, you've emptied out some serious stash just in time for somebody to put yarn presents under your tree or beside your cake. It's like a magical pattern from a distant fairy-tale land or something.
Overall: I find the drop stitch cowl just... super addictive.
Do you have a favourite stitch or pattern to share?